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Sticker Shock

April 9th, 2011 9 comments

It hit me today. I know all of you have figured it out long before now. I even received a set of cartoons from Bob about this particular subject and kind of shook my head. But then, I have been pretty much out of the loop since September as far as driving or dealing with gas pumps.

In the 70s – I had a VW beetle, which I could fill up for $3.25 of cheap regular gas. If I remember correctly, it held ~ 40 liters (10-12 gallons). Since I didn’t have a whole lot of income at the time, that was a lot of money. Even so – compared to today – I can’t think of many things that cost 25 x as much today as 35 years ago.

I filled up the VW wagon today. I am still staring at the slip. 47.05 litres at 1.469/litre for diesel. Given the exchange rate – for you Americans that translates to $100.06 US. For one tank of gas.

I mean, really. I knew in my head that it was cheaper to take the S-Bahn. Traveling at speed (140km/hr +) means less than 500 km per tank. Being reasonable (110-110 km/hr) would let me travel somewhere between 625-675 km/tank (filling the 60 litre tank without going below that last five litres). even at that rate – it is going to be more than 17E for fuel alone.

Even though I know a lot of it is tax, it still has me a bit shocked. I can think of so many other uses for that same money. Lasting uses. Buying books (which support authors with royalties). Buying yarn (which supports the Indie dyers). Even buying music (see authors and books above).

And here I was thinking about that trip I need to make to the UK next week. 2-3 tanks of fuel plus the ferry. The problem is that if I don’t drive, I can’t get where I need to go on the UK end. Which means that I would have to rent a car, and pay for fuel taking the price of airfare, car rental and fuel right back to the same range as driving.

But $100 (US) for a tank of gas? My Midwest upbringing has me shuddering in my shoes.

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